Giovanni di Paolo (jōvänˈnē dē päˈōlō) [key], c.1403–1483, major Italian painter of the Sienese school. Typical of the Sienese painters of his era, he paid scant attention to the artistic innovations made in nearby Florence, but often depended on the style established by the Sienese masters of the 14th cent. Fortunately, Giovanni di Paolo was endowed with great imagination. His first dated work (1426) was the Pecci altarpiece (major panels in Siena; predella panels in the Walters Art Gall., Baltimore). He produced a tremendous number of works during his long career. Many paintings have remained in Siena, but there are probably more examples of his art in the United States. The Metropolitan Museum has several of his paintings; among them is a delightful scene of Paradise; in the Philip Lehman collection is the exquisite Creation of the World. The Madonna and Child in a Landscape (Mus. of Fine Arts, Boston) exemplifies his inclination toward pure fantasy and disregard for the laws of perspective. Giovanni di Paolo is best represented by six highly expressive scenes from the life of St. John the Baptist (Art Inst., Chicago). Examples of his work are in the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; the Johnson Collection, Philadelphia; the Gardner Museum, Boston; the Fogg Museum, Cambridge; and at Yale Univ.
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